The recent murderous attack in Paris, the continuing savage brutality in Israel and elsewhere are eliciting in all of us a paradigm of choice. An unavoidable fork in our collective road.
As our immediate responses of pain or anger, shock or dismay, fear or resolve, contemplation, prayer or action, blend into our ongoing day to day responsibilities and involvements, a greater, deeper shift calls to us.
Victory or stasis.
These two directions, one toward triumph the other toward equilibrium, are in some ways always present. Consciously or not we travel the route of one over the other or perhaps a bit of both.
Now however the outlines between them are sharper, their divergence greater, their respective proponents more clearly unmasked. The consequences of our directional choice, of our words and actions along these lines, never more consequential.
What exactly is the definition of victory and triumph in contrast to equilibrium and stasis? Which of those should we choose? Can we have both?
To believe we can fully heal from any trauma. To believe there will be peace among all mankind without exception. To believe all evil and all those who wield it, as well as pain of all forms will come to a complete end. To believe each of us can be an integral part of achieving all of these. To be driven by this and speak of it openly and confidently. To defy anything, no matter how much logical or emotional sense it makes, that says we cannot fully overcome, is to be driven by victory and triumph.
To accept the deep dysfunctions of man as for all intents and purposes permanent. To see mutual agreement as the end goal since no one can ultimately claim any greater insight than another. To temper characterizations of good and evil with equivocation whenever a reason is available. To believe one’s goals and interests should be limited to the realms of what’s practical, profitable, popular, obviously relevant and clearly doable. To be satisfied with a small oasis of peace. To be driven by these is to be driven by equilibrium and stasis.
Of these, victory and triumph is at the core of being a Jew.
The Chassidic movement itself is based upon the vision of victory and triumph. Over 260 years ago the Bal Shem Tov entered the chamber of Moshiach in the upper realms and was told when your wellsprings spread throughout the world I shall arrive.
It is this charge, energy and purpose through which Judaism, it’s past, present and future is seen. Through which our identities as Jews are defined. Each of us empowered to bring the redemption of all mankind.
Within this empowerment is the ability to defy all rational forecasts and hindrances and work unimpeded toward this ultimate victory and triumph. Toward a world of complete peace, transformed through the practice of Judaism. The Judaism which will bring the tangible revelation of G-d to all mankind through Moshiach.
It is through the spirit of Jewish victory and triumph in the face of ever growing chaos and polarity that our day to day healthy balance is most secured. This is the Jewish perch of unbending light within the cascade of these last dark waves at the end of this long exile.
To be more specific. Chassidus, the Soul of the Torah is the preview and last precursor before the victory of G-d’s agent, Moshiach, over this world’s darkness we are all too familiar with.
We as individuals each have a spark of Moshiach within, a candle of his victory. When bound together they will shine his great light of triumph, will bring him. These are the candles, our personal most deepest connection to G-d, which we must now bring to the fore in a spirit of victory and triumph.
Yes, we must go about our day to day and fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves and families with healthy balance. Yet the Rebbe’s teaching is that our context is the knowledge we are living in the time when Moshiach will soon literally arrive and heal this entire world. That we the Jewish people, and our candles of Moshiach within us expressed triumphantly, are the vital key.
The Rebbe’s narrative is that we are not primarily victims, not looking for anyone’s sympathy, especially politicians or media. Our role, our narrative, destiny and purpose is beyond all of that. It is the true and complete redemption of all mankind which is extremely close.
That our reaction to the deepest most painful provocations of exile is to mourn deeply but then rise and keep preparing and building toward the victory and triumph of Moshiach’s arrival. To push back against the polarity and chaos by expressing to ourselves and the world with the voice of the spark of Moshiach that is within each of us. Without inhibition, dilution, concerns for political correctness or popularity. To call for G-d to send Moshiach, with complete certainty that he will.
To tell the world, because now we each have the power to speak to thousands and even potentially millions, what Moshiach and redemption mean. That Judaism is about G-d’s complete tangible revelation, and that only this power can and will bring peace to our fractured planet.
Expressed with certainty that we will see the utter destruction of all evil and evil men, through great wonder and miracle, even greater than when we left Egypt. That we will soon see the great triumph and victory of Judaism, of Moshiach, of every single Jew. The triumph and victory of G-d.
“ …G-d will be king over the entire world, on that day…his name will be One.”
The choice is clear and the time for Jewish awakening, of victory and triumph, is now.